Terre Pruitt's Blog

In the realm of health, wellness, fitness, and the like, or whatever inspires me.

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Posts Tagged ‘slow cooker’

Recipe Tricks and Tips

Posted by terrepruitt on November 24, 2012

Sometimes I don’t even have to try a recipe to be able to use a portion of it.  Sometimes I do try the recipe and even though I might not use it again, I gain something from it.  A tip, a tactic, a procedure, a trick, ya know . . . . something.  Sometimes the process explained in the recipe makes what I am actually doing escape me.  What am I talking about, right?  Well, I love macaroni and cheese.  I don’t eat it often because, well, it is not high on the health-o-meter.  I will admit that I love the boxed stuff.  I have a box in my pantry for those nights when I just don’t have time to figure out what to eat or I just can’t muster a good healthy answer to:  “What am I going to cook for dinner?”  Usually I restrict the making of the box of macaroni and cheese to when I have a bell pepper or some broccoli.  I add a vegetable to help bring up the nutrients, which is necessary because there really isn’t anything nutritious in that box.  I love Kraft’s Three Cheese and Annie’s White Cheddar.  I actually can’t tell you when I last had the Kraft one.  It does have a lot more chemical’s than Annie’s.  Anyway, I was browsing on My Sister’s Pantry when I saw this: “Instant Mac & Cheese Without The Box”  I was excited thinking I could have that same taste but without the box.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, ZumbaSo I made it.  And it doesn’t taste like the boxed kind.  It really shouldn’t because it is made with better ingredients and it is fresh, but I was kinda hoping for that familiar box taste.  Crazy, I know.  The macaroni and cheese from the recipe was good.  Both my husband and I loved it, but it is basically a mac and cheese with a roux base.  Which I didn’t even THINK about until I tasted it.  Yes, I did make it.  Yes, I know most people would recognize it as a roux as they were making it, but I didn’t.  I was thrown off by the shaking of the milk and the flour.  And the shaking (mixing) that is my take away from this recipe.

Mixing the flour and milk in a container.  AWESOME shake and pour.  No more lumps!  Ever!  I mean, I can make a roux without lumps but sometimes I am in a hurry or trying to do a few other things and so my roux suffers.  I am blessed with a husband who is just happy to have dinner made for him so he never complains about my lumpy white sauce (good boy!).  But the flour and milk in a shakable container — brilliant.

I made soup recently in my slow cooker and the recipe was created for a much bigger crock pot.  Even though I cut back on some of the ingredients, I still ended up with a way-too-full crock pot.  At the last 30 minutes of cooking mark the recipe calls for two cups of milk and a half a cup of flour to be stirred into the pot.  And of course, you need to stir until the lumps are gone.  I could barely stir much less stir lumps out. I was so happy to have the shake-it-up trick from the mac and cheese recipe.  It works so well, I am going to use it for every milk/flour recipe!  So even though I probably won’t make that mac and cheese recipe again I have a new trick.  Yay!

Do you have any tricks that you use all the time that you learned from a recipe? 

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